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Posts Tagged ‘Musefest’

But I have excuses!

Actually, just one really. I haven’t posted in nearly a month because that’s how long it’s been since Musefest. Every time I think “I want to blog about this” I realize that I have not yet addressed Musefest, and as it was a big event for me I can’t simply neglect it. But oh how I wish I would. In order to continue blogging I must simply clench my teeth and bear the pain for the moments it takes to write this.


Musefest. Absolutely disastrous, in my worst nightmares it couldn’t have gone much worse. It started out fine, we arrived way earlier than necessary on Thursday, had the booth set up by about 5pm, and a ton of time to kill. No biggy, I made a ton of jewelry and the kids went exploring. The people were pleasant, the site was nice, and the rain we’d seen on our way in cleared away. I had high hopes, and we all went to bed with pleasant anticipation for what was to come.

We awoke to find that the electricity still wasn’t hooked up, and we would be eating chips and salsa for breakfast. We were assured that the food vendors we were so counting on (as it turned out the site was much, much further from town than expected) would be electrically wired and cooking by 10. No problem. 2pm rolled around, no food, tummy’s grumbling, and no fest folk had arrived. Music wouldn’t be starting until 5pm, and everyone on site was hungry and grouchy. 5pm rolled around, the band went up, not so hot, and a few people trickled in. Drunk people.

After a long slow evening I began to realize my mistake. This was not a family fun festival as I’d been lead to believe, this was a chance for all the druggy kids of Ithaca to network, get high, and act like morons. There was no money to be made, and no ATM on site to facilitate spending. I resigned myself to a really slow weekend, hoping for $500 to cover my expenses and maybe enough profit to put towards another booth fee somewhere else. It was not to be. We stuck it out as long as we could Friday night, then went to sleep, arising relatively late in the morning to find there were still very few people around, and even less with any money. We were reassured that Saturday night would be a great night for vending because there would be more people, more families.

This too was not to be. It had been off and on cloudy and scorchingly hot all weekend, and around 8:30 that evening the clouds rolled in in earnest. The sky turned black, and beyond it was a pink glow I initially believed was the sunset, as the clouds were moving incredibly fast and I thought perhaps they were blowing right over. As that pink expanded and began to turn a muddy brown I reconsidered. Instantly the wind came up and I grabbed my tent, trying desperately to zip up the walls, screaming my head off for the kids. the rain hit like an anvil, coupled with the wind, ripping the walls from my hands. The kids ran up to help and we got three sides zipped, but couldn’t see enough through the buckets of rain in our eyes to get the forth. I clung desperately, trying to hold the sides together as the sky turned a brilliant chartreuse green, and wind whipped through the tent, knocking all my carefully laid out displays to the muddy ground. Somehow in the hubbub my thumb had been sliced open, and as I fought with the wind, soaked to the bone, bleeding all over my nice white tent, all I could do was hope to got that a tornado didn’t come ripping through. I didn’t know what I’d do if the kids got hurt.

The storm died almost as quickly as it came up, and at 9:20 we stood calm, looking around at what was left of my jewelry. Not much. Earrings lay trampled in the mud, bent, broken, or simply gone. Everything was soaked through and we were all shaking with exhaustion and freezing cold. I have honestly never been more miserable. I called home and told them we were on our way, and we crammed all our stuff into my car, amazed we fit it all, and limped the four hours home, freezing cold and defeated.

Musefest was an incredible loss for me. Literally hundreds of dollars. I missed classes for it, spent all my free time preparing for it, and didn’t make back my booth fee. One good thing did come from it and that is that the few things I did sell were designs I’d created specifically for the festival crowed, so at least I know those were spot on. There simply weren’t enough people.

That is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

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Saturday was crazy. The farmers market was a near disaster, several people lost their tents to the strong wind, and I, forever fearful, took mine down just in time. After three long hours of standing in the freezing wind trying to keep my jewelry on the table, I was ready to give up and move to our second site of the day. I had made all of sixty five dollars, frozen my butt off, and bent a display piece. I was not a happy camper. Then one of those customers came along who
can completely make your day. A customer with great taste, and a flexible budget. I was five minutes from packing up, and frustrated that this man seemed to be looking at everything but not buying, when suddenly he called his wife over. I realized she was the woman who’d been eying my mushroom piece the last three markets. He asked what she wanted and there was no hesitation. Off went my mushrooms! I was sad to see them go, I was close to running over and telling her I wanted them back, that they weren’t for sale, or something equally childish, when she came over with a camera and asked to have her picture taken with “the artist”. Well, shucks! She was wearing them with her very practical red sweatshirt. I know they won’t go in some box in the back of her closet. I’m thrilled.

My mom came ten minutes later and helped me pack up and move two miles down the road to Community Day. It started out slow until the rest of our row was established and then people came:) It was a good afternoon, not really busy, but comfortable. I met a few interesting people and was happy to have time to talk to them. I cut my day short (after a solid 9 hours of standing in the sun) when I was informed that I had a terrible sunburn. Boy oh boy was it bad. I managed my whole beach vacation without a burn, but put me in a field in the freezing cold for 9 hours and I look like a tomato.

It’s seriously crunch time for Musefest. We leave Thursday morning, ready or not! Today I visited AAA and got some reliable directions, spent my second to last day at the bead store churning out cell phone charms, and this evening mocking up what I can of my booth in the living room. Barring rain tomorrow I’m going to re-waterproof my tent, (that’s a story and a half, that I haven’t told you yet) set up in the dark to test out my lighting, finish mocking and mapping and labeling and pricing and packaging, and try and fit everything in my car. That’s all after work, mind you. At work I’ll be making as much jewelry as I can humanely manage. Wednesday I’ve reserved for laundry, figuring out lighting if I need more, packing for school (I’m supposed to start classes Thursday, but I’m going to try and be back in time for my Monday classes, don’t ask how) and all the other little details I know I’m going to have to deal with. I also have a class that evening. My life is absolutely insane right now, but if all goes as planned this should be worth it.

I know there’s more news from these last few days, but I can’t quite grasp it right now. Maybe tomorrow.

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Yep, finally had to unload my camera, and I’m actually much happier with what I’ve got than I expected. My chances to take photos at the market were aways rushed, so I thought I’d sold a lot of pieces that I’d never see again. Turns out I have some pictures! These here are my mushies, I love them very much. I don’t really expect to sell them, they’re easily the most expensive and strangest piece I have displayed, but I like to show them anyway and see and hear people’s reactions.

Tomorrow morning my brother and I are off to Falcon Ridge for a weekend of fun and adventure! I’m taking some jewelry and supplies with me to keep me busy in the blistering heat of the afternoon, but next year I’m hoping to vend there legitimately! My new pavilion (the brilliant one) is coming with us, so we’ll have some shade and a really sweet campsite! We’re called The Hip Ship:) When my brother and younger cousin were about 13 they made a raft and named it the Hip Ship, with a little peace sign flag and everything. So we’ve designed our campsite in memory of. We’re also doing a Free Hug campaign at the Ridge, which my mom is less than thrilled about, but we’re all excited for!

I’m stressing big time about Musefest because I’m not ready! It’s all I can do to keep myself stocked for the Market, but Musefest falls on the first week of school, the weekend between two Markets and the same week I’m moving into my new apartment! I’m bugging out! I just placed two giant orders yesterday, one with Fire Mountain the other with Lotta Displays and they should be here next week. Then it’s just production production production, not to mention figuring out how to use the lanterns and sidewalls I just ordered!

Help!!

In any case, the bead store is still wonderful, so far this summer I’m almost making profit with my jewelry, and I’m having a load of fun! As you can see I don’t know a ton about formating these pictures (I only just found out you could upload directly!) and I’m just going to leave you with one more of a section of my booth. Perhaps I’ll post more later:)

Peace and love!

Hip Ship Crew Mom

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